Current melinda gibbons prunty CURRENTBELTON, Ky. (12/2/19) — As I write this, I am grateful for a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I pray you and yours had one, too. This column will cover three weeks of activity with a few comments on what we might be facing in the upcoming General Session.

The week of November 11th included participating in the Greenville Elementary Veterans Day Program, traveling to Frankfort for an afternoon of Parliamentary Training, attending the Annual Plans 4U Fundraising Dinner in Madisonville, the Central City Council meeting, the Greater Muhlenberg Chamber of Commerce regular monthly meeting at Muhlenberg County High School West Campus, meeting with a local resident and county officials over an environmental concern, enjoying the Muhlenberg Senior Citizens “Pasta for a Cause” dinner and auction, stopping by the “Turntables for Tots” fundraiser for Christmas gifts for foster children at the Coal County Vendor Mall sponsored by Ben and Jennifer Duvall, attending the Muhlenberg County Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the final performance of the “The Miracle Worker” performed by the Mustang Drama Department. All events were well organized and executed. There is much talent and generosity in the 15th District!

The week of November 18th included almost a full week spent in Frankfort for Interim Joint Committee meetings. I had committee meetings Monday through Wednesday and I spent a legislative workday in my office on Thursday. The highlight of the week in Frankfort was hosting Josh and Nathan Randall for their first ever visit to Frankfort. After showing them a little of the Annex, I took them to the Capitol to meet Brother Lee Watts, Chaplain for the Legislature, who gave them a Christian history tour of the Capitol and the Commonwealth.

After attending the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Advisory Committee meeting at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, I rejoined the Randall brothers in the Interim Joint Committee on Tourism, Small Business, and Information Technology meeting in the Annex where they heard an update on KY Wired as well as the new work of the KY Chamber of Commerce at their Workforce Center whose goal is to help identify skills and assist individuals to enter the workforce. They also got a preview of the legislative agenda for the KY Chamber for the 2020 General Session.

On Friday the 22nd I had the pleasure of speaking to the three 5th grade classes at Longest Elementary at the invitation of Mrs. Davis. I was able to share a little about national, state and local government and how what I do fits into those levels of government. That evening I was able to attend the chili supper at West Campus and catch most of “Meet the Mustangs.”

On the 23rd, I enjoyed the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Legislative Appreciation Dinner at Country Plantation. I shared some of what I expect in the upcoming session and will hear soon from them what their legislative concerns and goals will be. Later that evening, I ate supper at the Earlington First Christian Church’s chili supper and auction.

Sunday evening, I appreciated the opportunity to speak at the Thanksgiving Community Service held at the Earlington Assembly of God Church about what I see as challenges our communities and state are facing and how churches can help. It was a unique worship service in that there was music as well as several elected officials sharing thoughts. A pastor or representative of various churches in Earlington prayed between each speaker. Food and fellowship were provided afterwards for citizens to interact.

The week of the 25th included meeting and phone conversations with administration officials from both Muhlenberg and Hopkins County Boards of Education. Both conversations included their concerns as well as hopes for the upcoming legislative session.

On Monday the 25th, I also attended the Muhlenberg County Health Coalition. The work that the coalition is about is spot on in trying to address, as a county-wide community, issues that affect the health of the entire population. I look forward to seeing the long-term results. The issues they are addressing are what we hear in Frankfort in committee meetings about issues faced all over the Commonwealth. It is encouraging to know that these issues are being addressed collectively by many people who serve in various roles in the county. It is a team effort.

On Tuesday, I met with Dr. Freddie Mayes regarding Optometry legislative goals for the upcoming session. That evening I participated in the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service that was held at First Baptist Church in Greenville. I appreciate the efforts of pastors to work together.

On the 27th I attended the 45th Annual Farm City Breakfast in Madisonville held at the Greater Lighthouse Family Center. It was an opportunity to honor Hopkins County farmers and to recognize the significant economic driver agriculture is in Hopkins County. It is always impressive to witness how the FFA officers from both Hopkins County North and Hopkins County Central High Schools conduct business.

Following the breakfast, I met with Bill McReynolds and purchased tickets to the upcoming Black History Fundraising Gala. I then stopped by Sissy’s in Mortons Gap for lunch and to pick up my chocolate pie.

I will head back to Frankfort on January 6th to prepare for the 2020 General Session that will begin on the 7th. It will be a sixty-day budget session; budget sessions are always hectic and crammed full of meetings with various stakeholders seeking funding for their particular work in the public square. I will take into consideration the conversations I have had with all my constituents when addressing any upcoming legislative matters this session.

Leadership mainly determines which issues we will address, and even though I am hearing from some constituents regarding issues of concern for them, I do not know for certain those issues will be addressed during this upcoming session. We have a Caucus Retreat December 12-13 so I will know more then specifically what they anticipate we might be taking up.

Committee Chairs have a strong influence on the agenda as well. Besides contacting me, I would also recommend e-mailing, calling and/or writing Chairs of Committees as well as House Leadership to try and influence the issues that will be addressed and how they are addressed. The more they hear from folks across the state will help them prioritize what is most important to the people. Getting your voice out there will help me advocate on your behalf when we all meet together.
With a Governor-Elect of a different party than the majority of both the House and the Senate, there will be a learning curve as well as an adjustment period. That change in no way changes what I stand for nor what I am willing to stand up and fight for, in particular, the fight for life! If this is an issue that is important to you, please pay close attention to what happens to the pro-life bills that became law over these past three years and let your voices be heard.

As always, I welcome your comments and concerns on any issue and can be reached, regardless if in session or not, through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at-1-800-372-7181, at 502-564-8100 Ext. 686, or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please follow me on Facebook @melindagibbonsprunty. You can also keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov.

Note: Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty represents the 15th House District serving Muhlenberg and SE Hopkins Counties which includes White Plains, Morton’s Gap, Anton as well as sections of Nortonville, Earlington and SE Madisonville. She is Vice-Chair of the Health & Family Services Committee as well as the Budget Review Sub-Committee on Health & Family Services. She serves as a member on, the Appropriations & Revenue, Medicaid Oversight and Advisory, Education, and Natural Resources & Energy Committees as well as the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Advisory Committee. http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/ColonCancer.htm.

 

 

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